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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
The top 10 fictional pirates
By Greig Watson
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Chinese Pirate Sao Feng, Captain Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow,
Hidden in this picture are three pirate captains. Can you find them?

As the latest Pirates of the Caribbean film is released, the BBC News website presents the top 10 fictional bad boys of the high seas.

1. LONG JOHN SILVER

The daddy of them all. The man who set the benchmark for piracy as a fashion statement.

Asked for his three priorities for his term as captain, he replied: Accessorise, accessorise, accessorise. The pointy hat, the wooden leg, the noisy pet on the shoulder.

As if that was not enough to set a salty seadog's pulse racing, he was rightly obsessed with golden doubloons as well.

Long John thought of little other than reclaiming the riches buried by former captain John Flint and was wily enough to be one of only two men to leave Treasure Island with any loot.

2. CAPTAIN BLOOD

Errol Flynn as Captain Blood
One man and his rapier can make a difference
With a surname like his, there were only two career paths for Peter Blood and he took them both. First a doctor and then - thanks to an unfortunate treason-related incident - a pirate.

Being sold slavery into the West Indies would be enough to spoil anybody's day, but like all heroes, he turned tragedy into triumph.

He gets the (rich) girl, beats the bad guys and even tops up his tan.

The icing on the cake was being played by lock-up-your-daughters, is-this-a-cutlass-in-my-pocket, swashbuckling king Errol Flynn. Hurrah!

3. DREAD PIRATE ROBERTS

Unique in the annals of piracy in being more a franchise operation than a person.

As related in the Princess Bride, the name - and reputation - of Roberts was used to terrify victims into surrendering.

But the merciless moniker was handed on when each pirate was rich enough to retire and has found a suitable replacement.

This charming system was only slightly tainted by the need to slaughter just about everyone the pirate meets to preserve the subterfuge.

4. THE BLACK PIRATE

Douglas Fairbanks Jr as the Black Pirate
Silent but deadly - Fairbanks cut a swathe through the bad guys
Teaching us that revenge can be a great way to meet girls, silent screen icon Douglas Fairbanks Jr joins the crew of the ship that killed his dad.

However, thoughts of retribution are pushed to one side when he stumbles across a damsel in distress, in a dress, in a boat.

In what has to be the most impressive flirt in cinema history, the Black Pirate captures the vessel single-handedly, using little more than a cheeky grin and hair lotion.

Fairbanks showed his Alpha male status by doing his own stunts, including swinging from mast to mast and the milestone trick of sliding down a sail using his knife as a brake.

5. CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW

Captain Jack Sparrow
Captain Jack has no shortage of enemies
The new kid on the block. Sassy, smart and with a reputation for dabbling in substances he doesn't understand, Jack Sparrow has made a name for himself across the seven seas.

Jack has what football managers call "bouncebackability". Having been mutinied on, marooned, hanged and eaten by a giant squid, the captain of the Black Pearl is still going strong.

Even when he found himself in command of nothing more than a leaky rowing boat, he did not give up hope and acquired a new vessel by the eminently piratical means of pinching it.

It his latest outing, he is facing a concerted attempt by the authorities to capture him. His only allies are four friends who, as he notes, have all tried to kill him, and a group of pirate lords to whom he owes money.

6. ONE-EYED WILLIE

A terror of the seas off America who could never figure out why the British captains kept sniggering at him.

The legend of One-Eyed Willie was revealed in the Spielberg-inspired 1980s classic The Goonies.

After making his fortune in gold and jewels, Willie decided the best way to enjoy the ill-gotten gains was to wall himself up in a cave.

Before breathing his last, Willie hid his treasure behind a series of traps, codes and riddles so fiendishly clever that only a group of over-excited adolescents could solve them.

7. CAPTAIN HOOK

Henry Winkler as Captain Hook
Not a great example of leadership
A bit of a disappointment to fellow pirates.

While talking a good game and packing an impressive offensive weapon instead of a hand, Hook failed to really deliver.

His crew are a rabble, he's scared of a ticking lizard and he comprehensively loses to a bunch of kids in tights - one of whom looks suspiciously like a girl.

With a track record like that it's not a surprise his career went downhill. Last seen doing panto.

8. CAPTAIN PUGWASH

Captain Pugwash and Tom, repeat Tom, the cabin boy
Pugwash was somehow able to escape his misadventures
A jovial, if bumbling captain, held in affection by his crew, who usually have to rescue him from the results of his own foolish schemes.

Despite having all the right kit - the ship, the flag, the lack of respect for other people's property - Pugwash never really gets up to anything piratical.

He even displays a charming shock whenever his nemesis, Cut Throat Jake, was show to have been less than truthful.

Sadly being a mainstay of children's TV for 20 years did not protect him from being the subject of some ugly and persistent rumours.

9. MORGAN ADAMS

Morgan Adams with sidekick William Shaw
Do women and seamen mix? The box office said no.
The one who shows buccaneering ain't just for the boys.

In Cutthroat Island, Ms Adams takes over from her less than law-abiding father and sets out to find the second half of a treasure map. All the while, she is being hunted by her villainous uncle and the unsympathetic Royal Navy.

She can shoot, fence and swing from ropes with the best of them and no doubt felt like a heroine for the '90s.

The film cost close to $100m to make and made less than $9m at the US box office.

10. PATCHY THE PIRATE

Best mates with cartoon character Spongebob Squarepants. He likes cookies prepared by his elderly next door neighbour.

He spends much of his time arguing with his parrot Potty. Also struggles to remember which eye should have the patch and which hand the hook.

His bedroom is filled with Spongebob merchandise.

Who says pirates aren't what they used to be?


VOTE RESULTS
Who is your favourite fictional pirate?
Long John Silver
 10.60% 
Captain Blood
 2.56% 
Dread Pirate Roberts
 7.05% 
The Black Pirate
 0.40% 
Captain Jack Sparrow
 53.45% 
One-Eyed Willie
 5.00% 
Captain Hook
 5.66% 
Captain Pugwash
 12.88% 
Morgan Adams
 0.93% 
Patchy the Pirate
 1.48% 
13226 Votes Cast
Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

SEE ALSO
West End role for Orlando Bloom
23 May 07 |  Entertainment
In pictures: Pirates 3 premiere
20 May 07 |  In Pictures
Third Pirates film has premiere
20 May 07 |  Entertainment
Franchise fever grips Hollywood
04 May 07 |  Entertainment
Knightley 'wants to quit acting'
02 May 07 |  Entertainment
300 battles Pirates at MTV Awards
01 May 07 |  Entertainment

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